Minister’s Message for World Ozone Day 16th September

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is observed annually on 16th of September. This year, 2021, marks the 36th anniversary of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. The Vienna Convention is a framework agreement adopted in 1985, setting out principles for cooperation and information sharing on the effects of human activities on the ozone layer. It was the first convention of any kind to be signed by every country involved, and it reached universal ratification in 2009.

The Convention was the first step in fixing the hole in the Earth’s ozone layer and few global agreements have been as successful as this one.

This year, the day is celebrated with the theme:” “Montreal Protocol – Keeping us, our food and vaccines cool”. It offers an opportunity to focus our attention and action on this global, vital environmental issue. As per the international treaty on the Montreal protocol, all abiding nations should reduce substances that cause ozone depletion. We should take up efforts and spread awareness on preserving the ozone layer.  The ozone layer is expected to return to pre-1980 values by mid-century.

This is the focus of the Montreal Protocol’s most recent agreement, the Kigali Amendment, which came into force in January 2019, bringing the promise of reduced Global Warming. It calls on all countries to gradually reduce the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by more than 80% over the next 30 years and replace them with more environmentally friendly alternatives. If fully implemented, the Kigali Amendment will prevent 0.4°C of global warming. It has to be noted that Seychelles has ratified the Kigali Amendment in August 2019.

For our future generations to survive in an eco-friendly environment, it’s imperative to preserve and sustain the bio-diversities and nature. Harming nature is detrimental to the progress of humankind. With Covid-19 pandemic that has laid siege to the world and has brought so much social and economic hardship to its citizens, and has added substantially the great demand in cooling equipment to store the vaccines. Seychelles for the past year or so, we have shown remarkable resilience and strength to continue meeting our commitments under the Montreal Protocol. And as a result, Seychelles has contributed its fair share in the protection of the ozone layer and the climate system in general by our actions.

With Seychelles being a high importer of consumables in terms of food, there is a need to develop cold chain solutions that are more efficient and more climate friendly to buy and operate, food on the local market, as cold chains will become more effective and widely available in the near future.

Consequently, the refrigeration cold chain is absolutely essential for all countries and it has a direct relationship on reducing food loss and food waste, protecting public health and supporting the economy.

Seychelles being a high importer of consumables in terms of food, there is a need to develop cold chain solutions that are more efficient and more climate friendly to buy and operate, food on the local market, as cold chains will become more effective and widely available in the near future.

This will provide the productive sectors such as farmers and pharmaceutical providers with access to pre-cooling, refrigerated storage and refrigerated transport – ensuring products such as food and vaccines reach people in safe and good condition.

With our Ministry’s mandate in working closely with the Ministry of Education in spreading this year’s theme to educational institutions within the Republic. The educational activities held in educational establishments are testimony of our commitment to continue to work in partnership with the Ministry of Education, to share these positive examples by organizing short campaigns, special events at schools, video competitions, and essay writing activities, which are some of the everyday things to be conducted at schools. At the university level, exclusive discussions from expert panels and eminent speakers could be called in to spread the word about International Ozone Day.

I would like to commend all involved for your dedication, hard work and steadfastness to continue meeting our country’s commitments, reporting data, and implementing project activities during this period of Covid-19 and to acknowledge the Montreal Protocol and its Kigali Amendment in its wider efforts to keep us, our food, and vaccines cool but at the same time reducing the impact of Green House Gases from the refrigeration sector.

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